This month's Woman in Control is not afraid to try new things, travel the world, put herself out there, and make mistakes along the way. We introduce Kali, international actress turned consultant, turned fashion blogger, an inspiring example of a passionate woman committed to leading a creative life.
Tell us a little bit about yourself-
I grew up in the Midwest as part of a large extended Greek family. As kids we were expected to entertain our elders by singing, playing musical instruments or Greek dancing. This taught me to draw my energy from those around me - I'm definitely an extrovert - and appreciate the art of performance and theatricality. I didn't realize it at the time, but it would go on to shape the course of my life.
What does being a woman in control mean to you?
A woman in control constantly strives to reach her full potential. She supports other women in their goals. She can laugh at herself and understand that failure is part of the journey. What makes her different is that she keeps going. She never stops being curious, she perseveres and fights the good fight. All of the women I greatly admire are not necessarily the most powerful, but they are the most adaptable. Their grace is their fortitude.
What inspired you to choose your career and how is it evolving?
In college I majored in business, but spent my free time taking theatre classes. Coming from the Midwest I never really thought I could make a career out of acting, so after graduating I got a job in mortgage banking. When the housing market crashed my company went under and I was forced with two choices - go back to corporate America or try something new, so I moved to Hong Kong and took a shot at acting and modeling. Living is a city of 7 million people with a culture a world away from my own was the catalyst that made my realize I could live a creative life. Upon my return to the US, I attended acting conservatory in New York, and then got representation in LA. Since my background was in the corporate world, I began working in healthcare consulting to support myself. The two worlds of corporate and creative have always worked to my strengths. I love helping people - which is the core of healthcare - and collaborating with people - the core of acting.
"Living in a city of 7 million people with a culture a world away from my own was the catalyst that made me realize I could live a creative life".
How did fashion come into the picture?
I've always been one o those hyphenate people pursing both "practical" and creative endeavors. When auditioning stalled, I still wanted a creative outlet to balance my corporate career. It dawned on me that my default reaction was to focus on fashion - reading about, looking at it, curating it - and the idea to start In Spades was born. Fashion blogging has opened up so many opportunities. Like acting, work begets work. I've styled editorial shoots, television pilots, recapped red carpet fashion on the news, and currently serve on the board for the non-profit Fashion Group International. I'm so thankful for all of the people and opportunities that have come into my life because of fashion. It took me longer than most, but I finally found what I was meant to do.
What continues to drive you to create content for your blog?
I adore fashion. It truly is an art form and something that affects all of us, everyday - we all wake up and get dressed. It's important to me to give my readers something that they can feel inspired by. While it's easy to brush clothing off as mere necessity, fashion allows people to express themselves and share a piece of their personality with the world. I want to encourage people to develop their own personal style. That keeps me going.
If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say?
No one knows you, better than you. Trust the inner voice that sparks your creativity. It's honest and all knowing. It will lead you on the path you're meant to pursue. Be kind. There is great power in lifting up. Have confidence. We all start out as beginners, nut there is something incredibly unique inside each of us. It's not our place to set a value on it or compare it to others. Simply let it out and be open. The rest will fall into place.
What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand?
Lia's clothing evokes confidence and strength. She designs with the modern woman in mind, using clean lines an flattering silhouettes that easily transition from day to play. I love the comfort and versatility of her pieces (the reversible Zuria Halter Top and Brea Skirt are brilliant and water resistant). It's sophisticated with an edge.